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Palmetto, FL-based Taylor & Fulton Packing LLC has partnered with Fish Farms in Newport, TN, to provide fresh tomatoes to the East Coast on a year- round basis.

The company also brought aboard industry veteran Barry Stein to coordinate the partnership.

"I've been doing this a long time," Mr. Stein told The Produce News March 29. "I'm excited to be here to help the company coordinate and offer the trade tomatoes 12 months a year. Good, Eastern tomatoes 12 months a year - that's hard to beat."

Ed Angrisani, who owns Taylor & Fulton with partners Jim Grainger and Brian Turner, told The Produce News, "We're trying to move forward and do things that help our position with our customers. We've known Barry a long time, and he fits right in with our customers."

Taylor & Fulton and Fish Farms will remain independent companies but will work as co-marketers.

"It's a marketing marriage," said Mr. Grainger. "They'll benefit from us, and we'll benefit from them."

Mr. Stein will be at Taylor & Fulton's headquarters in Palmetto nine months of the year and will spend July through September in Tennessee to help move the Fish Farms crop. Taylor & Fulton packs tomatoes under its own label, while Fish Farms packs under the "Tennessee Pioneer" brand.

Said Mr. Grainger, "Barry was a good fit for the direction this company was going and to take care of our customers."

Mr. Stein's previous employers have included Pacific Tomato Growers Ltd. and Harllee Packing Inc. in Palmetto, and Juniper Tomato Growers Inc. of Quincy, FL.

Taylor & Fulton was founded in 1953 and was acquired by the current ownership team in 2008. Fish Farms, founded 18 years ago and currently owned by Jimmie Fish, is one of Tennessee's larger tomato grower-shippers.